Have the Buccaneers Made a Splash in Free Agency?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to improve on two very poor seasons, resulting in just eight wins. Unfortunately, based on yesterday’s moves, it doesn’t appear too much will be changing.
March 9, 2016, the NFL free agency period officially begun. NFL teams across the league now begin their quest to find the perfect player to fit their team at the right price, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are no different. The Buccaneers are coming off of two very poor seasons, which resulted in just eight wins. The very loyal fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are starving for a winning football team, but unfortunately, after yesterday it appears they will be hungry for another year .
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers season ticket holders find themselves going into the 2016 season with their pockets being a little lighter. Buccaneers ownership decided after two miserable seasons, the time was right to increase season ticket prices by an average of 24%. To add insult, the Buccaneers went into yesterday’s opening day of free agency with lots of money to spend, being over $50 million under the salary cap, and came away with very little. They did re-sign Doug Martin to a deal worth $35 million over the next five seasons. Martin had a great 2015 season which resulted in 1,402 yards rushing along with six touchdowns. They also acquired former Seahawks offensive guard J.R Sweezy in a deal, worth $32.5 million over the next five seasons, to replace Logan Mankins. A collective sigh could be heard in Tampa Bay, as Bucs fans know the Bucs missed on every big free agent that was available and did very little to address their needs.
Don’t get me wrong, neither signing would go down as a bad signing, but are these two moves really going to change the team’s fortunes? Martin had a career season in 2015, but even with his big output the team only managed six wins. Sweezy is a decent guard, but neither of these moves are going to be enough to overcome their undisciplined poor defense, and inconsistent offense lead by Jameis Winston who did show flashes of brilliance, as long as the game was in garbage time and the Bucs were already on their way to a loss.
Next: Doug Martin Loves His Team
The media fails to include the fact that over 2,500 of Winston’s passing yards came in the 4th quarter and 14 of his 22 touchdowns came when team was behind. Otherwise, Winston did very little to impress those of us who actually watched the games, instead of just looking at the box scores. So far the Bucs haven’t done enough to justify a season ticket holder spending 24% more to see their Buccaneers play. Fans of the Bucs will be seeing the same team that was only able to muster up six wins last season. We were all hoping to see our Buccaneers make a splash during free agency, but so far it has been more like a kerplunk.